Sunday, July 15, 2012

DR2012 Day 3: El Cea

Had the pleasure of worshipping with our brothers and sisters at the batey (just found out that I've been spelling it wrong) in El Cea this morning. Such an incredible experience! The people were so warm and welcoming and the children sang a couple of songs that were incredible. Trent preached with a translator and we were able to meet a few of the people we will be building chicken coops for this week. We will be back in El Cea tomorrow and Tuesday and will be building 5 more chicken coops those days.

I saw something very quickly out of the corner of my eye as we traveled to the batey this morning. We were going down a long stretch of highway outside of Boca Chica when I saw two men walked dressed in their Sunday best carrying their Bibles in one hand and a plastic chair in the other one. It made me thing about how we were complaining the last couple of weeks back home because our air conditioner wasn't working and we had to have church in a building that was 80 degrees (btw, it had to be at least 95 where we had church this morning).


Hoping we can build 5 chicken coops tomorrow so I can play baseball all day with the kids on Tuesday. Guys, let's make it happen!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

DR2012 Day 2: Santa Alicia

Today we built what has been called "The Taj Mahal of chicken coops". Granted, we are the ones who called it that but that's not really what's important.

The thing that will never escape my mind and my heart were the faces of the men in this batay as they sat under a shade tree and watched as we worked. These are men who work very hard in the sugar cane fields for next to nothing, (without a doubt, the most poverty stricken place I have ever seen with my own eyes) watch a group of American men serve them. As we spoke with Julio (our missionary friend here), he explained that because of the poverty of these Haitians, they most likely have never been served by anyone.

In all reality, it did not matter if we were building them a chicken coop or each of them their own mansion, they were so grateful...and you could see it in their eyes...and their smiles.

Micah 6:8
He has told you, Oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Today, if you do not know what to pray or even how to pray, ask God for this.
Do justice...
Love kindness...
Walk humbly with a God who loves you infinitely more than you could ever imagine...


Friday, July 13, 2012

DR2012 Day 1: Reflection on Psalm 27

As we have been preparing for this trip to the Dominican Republic, Trent has asked us this question: "What is it that you want God to do in you, to you, and through you while we are there?"

Here's the reality...

There are many things I want God to do in me...I'm a wreck.
There are many things I want God to do through me...there are a ton of hurting people in the world and I truly desire Him to use me to point people to the One who heals.
There are many things I want God to do to me also...but this is scary though.

I have been spending a lot of time in prayerful reflection about not only making this trip but also on what part God wants me to play and how to play it "well".

Now, here's the much about how I have been praying and preparing has me at the center.

I was spending some time in Psalm 27 this evening and I found that David was able to capture my thoughts in words that must have been inspired by One greater than he.

Psalm 27:4
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

This stirs up my affections for my Great God and King!
This causes my soul to sing His praises!
This creates in me a great desire to press into Him!

Psalm 27:7-8
Hear, Oh Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, do I seek."

Now, tomorrow, we will meet new people and will experience new things. But that is not why God brought me to the Dominican. I truly believe that He brought me here for the same reason He has me living in Royse City, and working at Community ISD, and parenting two boys, and married to the greatest wife a man could have, and serving with Gateway, and (_fill in the blank_)...

To reflect His glory...

Psalm 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Tomorrow, Santa Alicia...we are coming, and we are bringing chickens!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

When Chickens Become Part of the Gospel...

We had a special offering at Gateway Fellowship the last two weeks to raise money for...


Our pastor, Trent Brown (follow that link to watch a video from his last trip and read more details about the work in the DR) after a recent trip to the Dominican Republic over Christmas, came back with a lot of ideas on how we can begin to help support some of the villages and batays in and around Boca Chica and San Pedro. We will begin a strategic partnership with some missionaries on the ground in this area.

The first project we decided to take on will be to provide a village with chickens.

Trent was told that for about $250 we can provide a village with a chicken coupe and enough chickens to not only help with food but will also give some of the people in the village an opportunity to build a small business. They can take the eggs to neighboring villages and market places and sale them or possibly barter them for something else.

I want you to just think for a moment how quickly you can spend $250. Some people will spend that in one weekend of entertainment and recreation (and pretty easily).

After two weekends our small church has brought in almost enough money to provide two villages with chickens. This is just the beginning for Gateway Fellowship and our response to this new opportunity that has been placed before us. A small team of us will be going back in July and continue some of the good work that has been started and begin dreaming about future doors that may be opened. From then on, we plan on taking groups down each year.

Obviously, this is about more than chickens...

The Gospel calls us to take Good News to the nations. Our hope and prayer is that Christ would use chickens to bring people out of darkness into his marvelous light. If you would like to help, shoot me a message...we'll name a chicken after you!!!

For the praise of His glory,